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World's Astronomers Meet in Sydney.

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World's Astronomers Meet in Sydney

Jul 14, 2003 - Astronomers from around the world have descended on Sydney, Australia for the 25th general assembly of the International Astronomical Union. Around 2,000 Astronomers will be in the city to attend the event which will cover a vast range of topics, such as "Young neutron stars and their Environments".

During this event, Astronomers are announcing all kinds of discoveries, so don't be surprised if we're a little bigger than normal and astronomy-focused for the next few weeks. I'll try to stay on top of it as much as possible.

Image credit: NASA
Gravity Probe B Arrives at Vandenberg

Jul 13, 2003 - NASA's Gravity Probe B arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday, July 11 to begin launch preparations. Once launched, the spacecraft will use four ultra-precise gyroscopes to test two predictions of Einstein's General theory of Relativity: how space and time are warped by the Earth, and how the Earth's rotation drags space-time around with it. If all goes well, the spacecraft will launch on board a Boeing Delta II rocket in late 2003.

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Image credit: Hubble
Dust Storm on Mars Visible By Amateurs

Jul 13, 2003 - Now that Mars is closer than ever, amateur Astronomers with regular backyard Telescopes can see incredible details on the planet's surface. On July 1, Astronomers were able to see a dust storm in the Hellas Basin; four days later it was 1,800 kilometres wide, obscuring nearly a quarter of the planet. Two years ago a similar storm grew in the same region and ended up obscuring the entire planet for months. Earth and Mars will reach their closest point in 60,000 years on August 27, 2003, and the Red planet should offer up some tremendous views.

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Image credit: CAIB
Age Wasn't a Cause of the Columbia Disaster

Jul 13, 2003 - During a press briefing on Friday, investigators ruled out the age of the Space Shuttle Columbia as a contributing cause to its destruction. With the most recent foam test, which knocked a large hole in sample shuttle wing panel, the force of the impact would have broken through, even if the panel was brand new. Investigators believe the hole in Columbia was smaller than the one in the test panel; otherwise it would have broken up much earlier upon re-entry.

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